My cat volunteered to finish this column, so this is mostly his doing.
[Transcribed from the cat] I expect that most of you are familiar with the concept of a familiar, despite subscribing to the belief that you are the pinnacle of existence, the be-all and end-all of knowledge, most of you appear to be cognizant that other living things can provide by example, or observation, a beneficial template on which to model your thoughts or conduct.
As a cat, I will admit that many generations of my ancestors have rather enjoyed your ancestors’ worship of us, the courtesies and assistance to us; frankly, we do generally enjoy having you around. Those “hand” things that you have seem quite a convenience. Especially those of the Human that I am cohabitating with, who appears to spend much of his time fretting over meeting something called his deadlines.
In the spirit of your celebratory reaction to the cold, it seemed that I might be able to assist him with some of his tasks as a reward. By selflessly communicating to him some things to assist with this deadline, there is more free time for him to now devote entirely to my comfort and needs. As a boon to you, I have been given permission to pass along to you a selection from our grimoire, which I have entrusted to him to share with you.
[So, now that His Majesty, the King of the cats, has fallen asleep, and is satisfied that I have been transcribing his unintelligible magical instructions to us all, I will now provide you with a spell that will provide more than a steady supply of kibble and small animals to munch on.]
If those were the sorts of things that you wanted, I am so sorry to disappoint you. Now, something that a cat would make if they could acquire the materials would be a witch’s bottle. With all of the insanity going on around us, unfocused rage will be floating around. You might find it helpful to construct this trap for all of the potential versions of the above floating your way, trying to enter your home.
This can be constructed from any old screw top jar that you happen to have lying around under the sink. Your job is to fill it with broken glass, bent pins, or paper clips if you like, or thorns, stripped off of the last roses of summer. These can then pierce a small doll or even a little figure shaped out of paper.
It’s really important that the jar will close securely, as you will be adding Your own urine, and vinegar, filling the jar completely (I know, it’s very much like the bottles that get tossed out taxicab windows that the drivers have been relieving themselves in. Maybe it’s an attempt to get rid of the bad juju of their affairs, or just the fact that they can’t take a rest stop.)
Anyhow, this delightful construction, concealed in your home, will, over the course of a year, serve as a trap for any ill will of every possible kind that might be directed towards you. When the year is up, it should be buried and never see the light of day again.
It’s not as comforting as a companion animal, but leaves enough room for you to have one of those as well.
May magic, joy, and success be yours in the coming year!